Alternate Dumbbell Curls

Muscles Targeted: The biceps brachaii are one of the main flexors of the elbow joint. The biceps are the most obvious muscle located on the front of the upper arm.

Equipment Needed: A pair of dumbbells of a suitable weight for your ability.

How to Perform: Select the appropriate weight dumbbells and stand with good posture, shoulders back and elbows at sides. Keeping the elbows firmly at your side and the palms facing away from your body, curl one dumbbell up toward your shoulder, squeeze the biceps muscle, then lower the weight, under full control, until elbow is fully extended. Repeat with the other arm and continue alternating in this manner until the set is completed.

Cautions: Avoid using the lower back muscles to help swing the weights up. This is usually seen when the weights are too heavy to use strict form.

Variations or Substitutes: There are several variations of this exercise. It can be done standing or seated. You could curl both dumbbells together rather than alternating, or perform all of the reps with one arm, then take the weight in the opposite hand and complete the same number of reps. The typical curl is performed with the palms facing away from the body, but another variation is to do "hammer curls" keeping the palms in, facing your sides throughout the movement.
Resistance tubing or bands are also a good alternative to dumbbells, and the correct form is the same.

Additional Comments: Both dumbbells and barbells are effective for working the biceps. Dumbbells can be preferable if you have a noticeable difference in the strength of one arm over the other. Your dominant side will not be able to perform more of the workload when using dumbbells, resulting in less disparity in strength between arms.

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